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Conneaut Child Rape Suspect Arrested in National Forest in Florida

For immediate release

Josh Lowe, Deputy U.S. Marshal

Northern District of Ohio
Cleveland, OH
(216) 276-7505

Ocala, FL – This morning, members of the U.S. Marshals, Florida-Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Matthew Rutter, 29. Rutter was wanted by the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office and Conneaut Police Department for rape and three counts of gross sexual imposition.

Rutter is accused of raping a minor and having sexual contact with a minor from January of 2017 through January of 2019. In July of 2022, members of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force began looking for Rutter. The investigation led task force members to believe Rutter had fled Ashtabula County and headed south. There were sightings of Rutter in Pennsylvania and West Virginia but he was finally arrested by the U.S. Marshals in Florida. Rutter was arrested after being found hiding in an Astro van in the Ocala National Forest. 

U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott stated, “We will never stop pursuing those that are accused of harming children, and this is another example of the nationwide reach of the U.S. Marshals Service. No matter where these dangerous fugitives run to, we will find them.”

Anyone with information concerning a wanted fugitive can contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED (1-866-492-6833), or you can submit a web tip. Reward money is available, and tipsters may remain anonymous.  Follow the U.S. Marshals on Twitter @USMSCleveland.  

The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force – Painesville Division is composed of the following federal, state and local agencies:  U.S. Marshals Service, Eastlake Police Department, Willowick Police Department, Willoughby Police Department, Willoughby Hills Police Department, Wickliffe Police Department, Mentor Police Department, Mentor-on-the-lake Police Department, Painesville Police Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Geauga County Sheriff’s Department, Ashtabula Police Department, Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, Middlefield Police Department, Lake County Narcotics, Conneaut Police Department, Chester Township Police Department,  and Russell Township Police Department.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


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